The Alex Smith Experiment: Week 1

Chiefs QB Alex Smith
Chiefs QB Alex Smith
Aug 24 2013 Pittsburgh PA USA Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith 11 signals yardage needed for a first down against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at Heinz Field Charles LeClaire USA TODAY Sports

We recently wrapped up the XN Sports 2-QB fantasy draft, and I think there was a conspiracy afoot to get Alex Smith on my roster. If you read this article back in July where I discussed why I think Smith could be the ultimate QB3 for your 2-QB fantasy football team, you already have an inkling as to why I’m excited that he’s on my XN League of Champions 2-QB team.

In all of my 2-QB drafts this off-season, I missed out on Smith, but to land him in the last of my 2-QB drafts, and it being for the website I write 2-QB content for had to be a sign, no?

Most of my 2-QB content on XN Sports has been geared towards draft strategy, and preparing you for your draft. That’s all well and good when it’s still 2-QB draft season, but that’s over now, and we’re into that time of that fantasy football season where we actually get to submit real line-ups.

I was struggling to come up with regular 2-QB fantasy football content to write for XN Sports, but then Smith fell into my lap, and an idea cloud swept over me. You see, in addition to Smith being my team’s QB3, I wound up with Russell Wilson as my QB1, and Sam Bradford as my QB2. I don’t know about you, but that’s the perfect trio to test out my ‘Studs+Streaming’ approach to 2-QB fantasy football rosters.

Wilson is going to be my every week starting QB1, for the most part, but Bradford isn’t somebody I’m 100% sold on as a QB2, and according to Pro Football Focus Fantasy Lead Writer Patrick Thorman‘s fantasy match-up chart that looks at which fantasy defenses might be the toughest on fantasy quarterbacks in 2013, Bradford and Smith pair up fairly well.

Going over the chart, the only troublesome week to worry about is Week 8, when Bradford has a ‘Red’ match-up, which pits him against a highly probable top-10 fantasy defense (49ers), and Smith has an ‘Orange’ match-up, where he faces a potentially probable top-10 fantasy defense (Browns). Other than that, the two combine for a relatively easy fantasy schedule.

What I’ll be doing every week is chronicling my adventure through the ‘Alex Smith Experiment’, seeing how starting Smith over Bradford in the weeks that the match-up dictates it works out for me, which will also give me a chance to see how streaming the QB2 position works on a fairly regular basis.

It’s one thing to say a certain ‘something’ will work out in theory, but it’s something else to implement said theory in a real-life setting.

Based on the match-ups in Pat’s chart, as of now, this is how the next 17 weeks of my XN Sports League of Champions 2-QB team will look like at the QB2 position:

  • Week 1-Alex Smith
  • Week 2-Sam Bradford
  • Week 3-Sam Bradford
  • Week 4-Alex Smith
  • Week 5-Sam Bradford
  • Week 6-Alex Smith
  • Week 7-Sam Bradford
  • Week 8-Alex Smith
  • Week 9-Sam Bradford
  • Week 10-Sam Bradford
  • Week 11-Alex Smith
  • Week 12-Alex Smith
  • Week 13-Alex Smith
  • Week 14-Alex Smith
  • Week 15-Sam Bradford
  • Week 16-Sam Bradford
  • Week 17-Alex Smith

That’s a lot of Alex Smith, and in Week 12, I’ll be forced to start both Bradford and Smith, even though Bradford has a brutal match-up, due to Russell Wilson enjoying his bye week.

For Week 1, after consulting the Yahoo Fantasy Points Against stats breakdown, Smith’s Week 1 opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars gave up an average of 16.19 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks last year. The Arizona Cardinals, Bradford’s Week 1 foes, saw opposing fantasy quarterbacks score an average of 11.27 fantasy points against them.

As far as Yahoo’s scoring projections for Bradford and Smith in this league, Bradford’s projected to score 12.58 points, and Smith is at 14.01 points.

Looks like advantage Smith in both categories.

I’m not set in stone to the QB2 starting rotation mentioned earlier, as the season hasn’t started yet, and some of the fantasy defenses we think are prime candidates to start our quarterback against could be good, just like the opposition could be true. For now though, we’re headed on a possibly bumpy Alex Smith QB2 journey. Strap on your seat belt, and enjoy the ride, from a very safe distance.

*Stats used in this article courtesy of PFF Fantasy, and Yahoo! Fantasy Sports.

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Salvatore Stefanile
Salvatore Stefanile is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and believes that 2-QB fantasy football leagues will be the future of fantasy football. You can read about his 2-QB fantasy football opinions and analysis at